Are you searching for a church home in Atlanta, Georgia? Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) is an excellent option. There are numerous Russian churches throughout metro Atlanta.
What sets ROCOR apart? ROCOR is a community of nativists, white nationalists and pro-authoritarians that adheres to the same traditions as its parent church: Russian Orthodox Church.
Orthodoxy is the continuation of early Eastern Christianity, distinct from the dominant Protestant and Catholic forms. Those who practice Orthodoxy believe their beliefs to be accurate reflections of Scripture and early Church teachings.
Orthodox Christianity in America has had a lasting influence for over two hundred years, growing from its original Greek Orthodox settlement near St. Augustine, Florida in 1768. One of the buildings where they held religious services still stands today.
Orthodoxy now encompasses more than a dozen ecclesiastical jurisdictions with over 5 million followers, the largest being the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese with around 500 parishes in America.
Despite many challenges, the Orthodox Church continues to grow and prosper. Its followers are spread across numerous nations and cultures, sharing their faith through various practices.
The Orthodox Church is an international confederation of patriarchal, autocephalous, and autonomous churches united by their common faith and order. The Patriarch of Constantinople serves as its head and spiritual heir to the early apostles; he is recognized as “first among equals” within Orthodoxy and receives special honor.
Eastern Catholic Church
The Eastern Catholic Church of Russia is the most visible Russian Orthodox presence in Atlanta, Georgia. Its members have an intense devotion to their Lord and King, with a vibrant spiritual tradition and liturgical practice that showcases their devotion to Mary and other saints.
Like all autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches, the church is overseen by a synod of bishops. Its theology is founded upon Nicaea (A.D. 325) and Chalcedon (A.D. 451).
Like many Eastern Orthodox churches, the parish blends traditional Liturgy with mystical spirituality and saintly intercession. Additionally, they emphasize veneration of Mary as Mother of God and communion with other Christians through ecumenical worship.
The church’s history is marked by various processes, such as Christianizing Iberia and Colchis, converting Armenians to Christianity, and founding a national church with autocephaly in the 11th century. Its governing body is the holy synod of bishops that meets twice annually to discuss issues regarding Church governance and doctrine. As an affiliate of Ecumenical Patriarchate, this Orthodox congregation is widely considered one of the most authentic Eastern Orthodox churches today.
The Melkite Church of Russia is an Orthodox branch, with its own patriarch and numerous churches and chapels throughout North America.
The Melkite faithful in twenty-one states, none outside the U.S., are under its jurisdiction. There are also several missions and “outreaches” spread throughout America for their spiritual care and welfare.
Archbishop Joseph (Tawil) leads this eparchy, located in Newton, Massachusetts near Boston. It features a seminary and several religious orders serving as auxiliary priests and sisters.
Additionally, the eparchy has an office of educational services which offers catechetical materials and training programs for parishes. Sophia Press publishes liturgical and prayer books as well as biographies, histories, and other texts relevant to Melkite believers.
For assistance researching your family’s history, reach out to a nearby FamilySearch Center or church staff member. It is best to do small searches at once – such as one birth record or marriage record – for quicker results.
In Damascus, the Melkite Patriarchate operates a Faculty of Theology led by a dean and professor. Here they teach both Russian language and culture while also publishing Sophia magazine quarterly.